Texas Medal of the Arts Awards

Awards are given to artists in a wide variety of categories, including multimedia, music, visual arts, dance, literature, journalism, architecture, theater, and more. Updated 2 years ago
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The Texas Medals of the Arts are presented to artists and arts patrons with Texas ties. The awards are administered by the Texas Cultural Trust Council.

The council was established to raise money and awareness for the Texas Cultural Trust Fund, which was created by the Legislature in 1993 to support cultural arts in Texas (txculturaltrust.org).

The medals, awarded every two years, were first presented in 2001. A concurrent proclamation by the state Senate and House of Representatives honors the recipients, and the governor presents the awards in Austin.


Design: Brandon Maxwell, Longview, fashion designer, photographer.

Music: Boz Scaggs, Plano, singer/songwriter.

Visual arts: Trenton Doyle Hancock, Houston and Paris, TX, artist.

Music Ensemble: Conspirare, Austin, choral ensemble.

Literary: Stephen Harrigan, Austin, Abilene, and Corpus Christi, author, journalist.

Film: Matthew McConaughey, Austin, Uvalde, and Longview, actor.

Multimedia: Mark Seliger, Amarillo and Houston, photographer.

Theater: Jennifer Holliday, Houston, singer, actor.

Arts education: Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts, Laredo.

Architecture: Elaine Molinar, El Paso, and Craig Dykers, San Antonio.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenny Rogers of Houston.

Multimedia: Kris Kristofferson, Brownsville.

Music: Yolanda Adams, Houston.

Visual arts: Leo Villareal, El Paso, artist.

Dance: Lauren Anderson, Houston.

Literary: John Phillip Santos, San Antonio.

Film: Janine Turner, Euless, actor.

Journalism: Scott Pelley, San Antonio, news broadcaster.

Television: Jaclyn Smith, Houston, actor.

Theater: Renée Elise Goldsberry, Houston.

Arts education: Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Architecture: Frank Welch, Dallas.

Individual arts patron: Lynn Wyatt, Houston.

Corporate arts patrons: John Paul and Eloise DeJoria, Austin.

Foundation arts patron: Tobin Endowment, San Antonio.


Lifetime Achievement Award: The Gatlin Brothers of Seminole, Abilene, and Odessa.

Multimedia: Emilio Nicolas Sr. of San Antonio, for work as broadcaster.

Music: T Bone Burnett of Fort Worth.

Visual arts: Rick Lowe of Houston, artist.

Dance: Kilgore Rangerettes.

Literary: Lawrence Wright, Austin and Dallas.

Film: Jamie Foxx, Terrell, actor.

Television: Dan Rather, Wharton, news broadcaster.

Television: Chandra Wilson, Houston, actor.

Theater: Robert Schenkkan, Austin.

Arts education: Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas.

Architecture: Charles Renfro, Houston.

Individual arts patron: Margaret McDermott, Dallas.

Corporate arts patron: Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano.

Standing Ovation Award: Ruth Altshuler of Dallas.


Multimedia: Eva Longoria of Corpus Christi, for work as actress, author, and philanthropist.

Music: Steve Miller of Dallas.

Visual arts: James Surls, Splendora, artist.

Dance: Houston Ballet.

Television/Film: Ricardo Chavira, San Antonio, actor.

Theater arts: Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, Austin (Greater Tuna fame).

Arts education: Big Thought / Gigi Antoni, Dallas.

Individual arts patron: Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dallas.

Foundation arts patron: Kimbell Arts Foundation, Fort Worth.

Corporate arts patron: Texas Monthly.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Barbara Smith Conrad from Center Point near Pittsburg, operatic mezzo-soprano and civil rights icon.

Music: ZZ Top of Houston, legendary band that sold over 50 million albums.

Literary: Robert M. Edsel, Dallas, author and founder/president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art.

Visual arts: James Drake, Lubbock, artist.

Television: Bob Schieffer, Fort Worth, CBS news anchor.

Theater arts: Alley Theatre, Houston.

Multimedia: Ray Benson, Austin, front man for Asleep at the Wheel and co-writer of the play A Ride with Bob based on the life of Bob Wills.

Film: Marcia Gay Harden, UT-Austin graduate, Oscar-winning actress.

Film: Bill Paxton, Fort Worth, four-time Golden Globe nominee.

Arts education: Tom Staley, director of the Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin.

Individual arts patron: Ernest and Sarah Butler of Austin, major donors to Austin arts groups.

Corporate arts patron: H-E-B, grocer with a long history of supporting the arts throughout Texas.


A Standing Ovation Award was presented to former First Lady Laura Bush of Midland and Dallas.

Lifetime Achievement Award: posthumously to artist Robert Rauschenberg, born in Port Arthur.

Music: Clint Black of Katy, country music singer/songwriter.

Literary: T.R. Fehrenbach of San Antonio. Mr. Fehrenbach, born in San Benito, is the author of 18 nonfiction books, including Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans.

Visual arts: Keith Carter of Beaumont, photographer.

Theater arts: Betty Buckley of Fort Worth, Tony Award winner and film actress.

Multimedia: Austin City Limits, the 30-year television series.

Film: Robert Rodriguez of Austin. Mr. Rodriguez, born in San Antonio, is a film director and writer.

Architecture: David Lake of Austin and Ted Flato of Corpus Christi, both now working in San Antonio.

Arts education: Pianist James Dick of Round Top, founder of the International Festival-Institute there.

Individual arts patron: Edith O’Donnell of Dallas.

Corporate arts patron: Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis and Houston.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Broadcast newsman Walter Cronkite of Houston.

Music: Ornette Coleman of Fort Worth, jazz saxophonist.

Dance: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The late Alvin Ailey, born in Rogers, was a creator of African American dance works.

Literary: writer Sandra Brown of Waco.

Visual arts: Jesús Moroles of Corpus Christi/Rockport, sculptor.

Theater arts: actress Judith Ivey of El Paso.

Multimedia: Bill Wittliff of Taft and Austin, publisher, writer, photographer, director, producer.

Arts education: Paul Baker of Hereford/Waelder. Headed drama departments at Baylor and Trinity universities.

Individual arts patron: Diana and Bill Hobby of Houston.

Corporate arts patron: Neiman Marcus, Dallas.

Foundation arts patron: Sid W. Richardson Foundation of Fort Worth.


Lifetime Achievement Award: singer Vikki Carr of El Paso.

Television/theater: actress Phylicia Rashad of Houston.

Music: singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett of Klein.

Dance: Ben Stevenson of Houston and Fort Worth.

Literary arts: Naomi Shihab Nye of San Antonio.

Visual arts: Jose Cisneros of El Paso.

Theater: Robert Wilson of Waco.

Arts education: Ginger Head-Gearheart of Fort Worth, advocate of arts education in public schools.

Individual arts patrons: Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long of Austin, philanthropists.

Foundation arts patron: Nasher Foundation/Dallas.


Lifetime Achievement: John Graves of Glen Rose, author of Goodbye to A River.

Media-film/television acting: Fess Parker of Fort Worth.

Music: country singer Charley Pride of Dallas.

Dance: Tommy Tune of Wichita Falls and Houston.

Theater: Enid Holm of Odessa, actress and former executive director of Texas Nonprofit Theatres.

Literary arts: Sandra Cisneros of San Antonio.

Visual arts: sculptor Glenna Goodacre of Dallas.

Folk arts: Tejano singer Lydia Mendoza of San Antonio.

Architecture: State Capitol Preservation Project of Austin, headed by Dealey Herndon.

Arts education: theater teacher Marca Lee Bircher, Dallas.

Individual arts patron: philanthropist Nancy B. Hamon of Dallas.

Corporate arts patron: Exxon/Mobil based in Irving.

Foundation arts patron: Houston Endowment Inc.


Lifetime Achievement: Van Cliburn of Fort Worth.

Film: actor Tommy Lee Jones of San Saba.

Music: singer-songwriter Willie Nelson of Austin.

Dance: Debbie Allen of Houston, choreographer, director, actress and composer.

Theater: Texas musical-drama producer Neil Hess of Amarillo.

Literary arts: playwright Horton Foote of Wharton.

Visual arts: muralist John Biggers of Houston.

Folk arts: musician brothers Santiago Jimenez Jr. and Flaco Jimenez of San Antonio.

Architecture: restoration architect Wayne Bell of Austin.

Arts education: theater arts director Gilberto Zepeda Jr. of Pharr.

Individual arts patron: philanthropist Jack Blanton of Houston.

Corporate arts patron: SBC Communications Inc. of San Antonio.

Foundation arts patron: Meadows Foundation of Dallas.

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